Thursday, 8 December 2022

Notice served on Sandgaard

CAS Trust say that Charlton fans have lost all confidence in Thomas Sandgaard and are holding a Zoom meeting on Monday to prepare for the fans' forum on Thursday when the owner should be present: 

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Wednesday, 7 December 2022

New boss will have a 'job on their hands'

'Whoever comes in has got a job on their hands' was the verdict of the ITV4 commentators after Charlton went down to a 3-1 defeat in their FA Cup replay against Stockport County at Edgeley Park.  It confirmed my view that the problem is as much the players as the manager.

The commentators rightly said that Charlton were second class in every department.  The substitutes made little difference with DJ being particularly ineffective.  Aneke was only on for the first half and achieved little then.   The commentators said that the Addicks players lacked desire and commitment.

'A Thomas Sandgaard out' banner was shown twice on television.  However, after four unsatisfactory owners, can one be sure that a fifth one would be any better?

Charlton took an early lead as an error from County keeper Ben Hinchliffe saw him flap at a corner and the ball bounce in off his own defender Akil Wright.

Stockport began to take control of the tie with Collar side-footing an equaliser as County spurned a number of good first-half efforts.  Ryan Rydel's free-kick hit the Charlton post early in the second half before Collar blasted home his second from eight yards out before converting a penalty soon after.

The game was a first in charge for Addicks caretaker boss Anthony Hayes and the Irishman made seven changes to the side that lost 1-0 at Cheltenham.

Despite an unchanged side from the one that won 5-0 at Hartlepool on Saturday, Stockport found themselves a goal down from the first corner of the game. Hinchliffe was unsighted as he palmed away a waist-high ball which bounced off defender Wright and dribbled over the line.

County began to get back into it with Macauley Southam-Hales looking dangerous down the right and his cross saw Craig MacGillivray pull off a wonderful one-handed save from Paddy Madden's diving header midway through the first half.

But MacGillivray could do nothing to stop the equaliser as Rydel's powerful low shot from the left corner of the 18-yard box came back off the foot of the right post and straight to Collar who made no mistake from six yards.

Charlton were lucky not to concede a 30th-minute penalty when Sean Clare appeared to push over Myles Hippolyte while MacGillivray did well to keep out two Paddy Madden efforts in quick succession five minutes later.

Collar saw a header go wide before Rydel struck the upright in the 50th minute as Stockport began the second half as they had ended the first.

But they had to wait until the 73rd minute to go ahead when Hippolyte's ball into the box was knocked into Collar's path by Kyle Wootton and he blasted home right-footed.

Collar completed his hat-trick from the spot after Ollie Crankshaw had been fouled in the box by George Dobson, and although Jack Payne went close during nine minutes of stoppage time, Charlton's woes continued.

Lambs to the slaughter?

It is difficult to know how players will react to a new interim manager.  Some of the Swindon imports brought in by Ben Garner may be disgruntled at his departure.   We don't know whether Anthony Hayes will feel confident enough to make needed changes in formation and playing style.

Stockport County come to tonight's match on the back of a 5-0 away thumping of Hartlepool, albeit a club in trouble.    Even so, the Hatters are fourth in the League Two form table and still hopeful of two successive promotions.

Our record in front of the TV cameras is patchy to say the least, but let's hope we at least avoid disgrace tonight.  The £35,000 appearance fee should make a small dent in Ben Garner's pay off. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2022

Could Hayes be the answer?

Anthony Hayes has ambitions to be a manager, but the Charlton caretaker claims he has not given a thought to the Addicks job with his attention focused on the short term:

He will be assisted in the caretaker role by Jason Pearce, a popular figure.

Monday, 5 December 2022

So, farewell then, Ben Garner

For once the rumours were right.  Ben Garner was sacked as Charlton manager this morning after taking training.  When Richard Cawley tried to contact the club yesterday, he got a formal denial.

Garner's tactics and team selections were criticised and I am not claiming that he was a genius.  However, any manager would have found it difficult to achieve the goals he was given on the budget he was provided with.

A balanced appraisal by supporter Ben Hayes was: 'Garner seemed to place his football philosophy above winning games. He wasn't backed financially and had ridiculous injuries but he was not getting the best out of what he had,'

Our greatest success has come with managers in place for some time: Seed, Lawrence, Curbishley.  Since Curbs left in 2006 we have been through 14 managers in 16 years.

There is a great deal to be said for managerial stability.  Apart from anything else, sacking managers costs money that could be spent on players.  At my non-league club we have had the same manager for 12 years and he has delivered steady performance on a small budget.

It will be interesting to see who wants to take on this poisoned chalice now.   Whatever happens, the owner can't be sacked.    Unfortunately, more fans may become disillusioned and cease being active supporters.

Louis Mendez has said on BBC Radio London that he would be surprised if Lee Bowyer wanted to come back.  Given the emphasis on the style of play maybe they would want another young manager who played it around at the back until everyone got bored and went home.

Richard Cawley commented: 'Kenny Jackett has been at recent matches. Not saying this with any info that he is in the frame at all, but he is out of work and available. Equally, Tom Watt might get a short-term crack at it.'

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has also been mentioned (groan). If you have any good suggestions, put them in comments and I will organise an online poll in a few days.

Richard Cawley's take on the sacking is here:

Comments from CAS Trust are here:

Sunday, 4 December 2022

Could it be Kwasi?

Social media reports have been suggesting that Ben Garner has been sacked or that at least Charlton are talking to out of work managers.  These reports have no independent confirmation, not least from Richard Cawley who is the authentic sources on all things Charlton.

There is a simple solution.   Kwasi Kwarteng has lost his job and lives down the road in Greenwich.  He could offer kamikaze attacks and back of the envelope solutions.

Getting rid of Garner would cost Sandgaard so it is not a decision he will take lightly.   Not many good candidates will want to come to Charlton with a limited budget.

Radio 5 have been poking fun at Nigels this morning, unfortunately I don't think they know the local context.

Charlton always have an error in them

Louis Mendez supplies his four takeaways from Friday's defeat at The Valley and unsurprisingly they do not make for happy reading.  He notes that Charlton are always minutes away from a calamity at the back:

He has some interesting comments on Ben Garner.   The manager's comments about Lavelle were a classic foot in the mouth moment.

Saturday, 3 December 2022

Using young defenders no reflection on Lavelle

Defenders Lucas Ness and 17-year old Zac Mitchell made their debuts for the club last night and Mitchell attracted praise from some fans.  I saw Ness on TV when he was at Torquay playing in the FA Cup and he looked useful.

Ben Garner insists that this selection was not a reflection on Sam Lavelle who was consigned to the bench:

Friday, 2 December 2022

Club's cultural problems

Ben Garner has only had a brief conversation with Thomas Sandgaard so far about the January window, but hopes to have further talks.   He says that changing managers will not solve the cultural problems at the club:

We did have a strong culture at the club, but that has been eroded over the years, particularly by Roland.

Defeat in front of the owner

The Sandgaard family were at The Valley tonight and a photograph showed them looking grim faced at another dismal performance by Charlton.  A 0-1 defeat by Cheltenham Town saw the Addicks 16th in League One.

Alfie May scored the only goal as Cheltenham stretched their unbeaten League One run to five games.

May pounced late to grab the three points following a mistake by goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray.

The only action of note in the first half fell to the visitors as they were denied three times in quick succession.

May's lob hit the crossbar and fell for Dan N'Lundulu but his effort was blocked by Lucas Ness.

With the ball loose, Ryan Inniss had to clear off the line following another follow-up from James Olayinka.

Charlton were brighter after the break and forced a number of corners to test the Cheltenham defence before the visitors started to apply some pressure of their own.

They netted the winner with six minutes left when May pounced after MacGillivray lost the ball on the edge of the area.

Garner and his team were booed off the pitch, but he insists that it was not a poor performance:

Win ratios of recent managers: Jackson 47%; Bowyer 42%; Adkins 30%; Garner 26%

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Garner shrugs aside reports of owner pressure

Ben Garner has denied media reports that he is under pressure from Thomas Sandgaard, having last had a review with him five to six weeks ago:

Sandgaard is now in the UK and Garner has had a brief conversation with him about the January window.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Varney hints at takeover possibility

In a rather cryptic Twitter post former Charlton chief executive Peter Varney has said: 'If you care about Charlton even if you feel disillusioned at present please buy your ticket for the Brighton cup game and come with the mindset to create a passionate atmosphere as it is very important to showcase the club on that night.'

This has been interpreted as meaning that prospective purchasers of the club will be there that night. There have certainly been rumours about such investors, but it should be cautioned that Roland is unlikely to be willing to sell The Valley or the training ground - or certainly not at a reasonable price.

Congratulations to Olly Groome on his appointment as head of media and communications at Welling United. It has been suggested that he reached an out of court settlement with Thomas Sandgaard over his dismissal from Charlton.

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

The rewards of victory

Over £200,000 in prize and television money for Charlton or Stockport if either side can beat Walsall in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup: £35,000 - Tv fee - 2nd Round Replay; £67,000 - 2nd Round Winners; £105,000 - 3rd Round Winners.

Unfortunately if we can't beat the Hatters at home, we are unlikely to do so away.

Brighton have sold out the Jimmy Seed stand for the League Cup fixture in a day.   It would be feasible to give them part of the East Stand (entry by the Bartram Gate) for the derby of two clubs who hate Palace.

Sunday, 27 November 2022

Not much magic in the FA Cup

Louis Mendez discusses four takeaways from Saturday's FA Cup draw including (once again) poor defending:

He draws attention to the low attendance, but actually only three clubs had higher attendances in the FA Cup on Saturday, one being the Massives.  The media may like to talk about the magic of the FA Cup, but it has long since gone.

My fifth takeaway would be Charlton's inability to last the 100 minutes which is increasingly becoming the norm as we have seen in the World Cup.  Given the number of substitutes, there is an argument for cracking down on time wasting but it isn't doing us any favours with our thin squad.

BTW, I have been away to Edgeley Park with two teams - twice with Charlton, I particularly remember an Andy Hunt hat trick.  I also went with my non-league team Leamington which shows how Stockport's fortunes have waxed and waned.   Very convenient for the station - if there are any trains.

If any Charlton fans are excited by the presence of former Sunderland part owner Charlie Methven in the directors' box on Saturday, let me quote one Charlton fan who described him as a 'total bellend'.

Saturday, 26 November 2022

Fears of Sessegnon hamstring injury

Shell shocked supremo Ben Garner is hoping that Steven Sessegnon was only suffering from cramp when he was withdrawn from yesterday's game, posing a potential threat to his already thin squad:

Garner thought there were a lot of positives to take from the game with Kirk doing well, although fans writing on social media had a different view.

We go again oop North

A 97th minute goal following a corner earned Stockport County a replay at The Valley in the FA Cup this afternoon.  With goals from Sessegnon (arguably an own goal by the keeper) and Morgan the Addicks were 2-1 ahead the break after an early opener from the visitors.

Morgan's goal came from a lovely ball over the top by captain Dobson and he had time to take it down. Keeper Hinchliffe got a touch but couldn't stop the ball going in.

The visitors pushed hard for a leveller in the second half and Ashley Maynard-Brewer saved excellently from Ollie Crankshaw and Hippolyte.

Chuks Aneke was replaced in the 67th minute by Blackett-Taylor.

Blackett-Taylor had a big chance to extend the Addicks' lead in the 77th minute but struck the outside of the right post.

Ben Garner was unhappy about the corner that led to the equaliser, saying the ball did not cross the line.  More here:

Attendance was 3,889 with 925 away fans.   Peter Varney commented: 'With the Upper North Stand closed there was not one song from home fans and all the atmosphere was generated by the away fans. I doubt any other club shuts out its most passionate fans.'

Young keeper's injury woes

Ashley Maynard-Brewer discusses the injury challenges he has faced - a broken nose and a dislocated shoulder:

Friday, 25 November 2022

Charlton players on 'final warning'

Ben Garner says that some of his senior players are on a 'final warning' after he was impressed with the work ethic and attitude of his young squad at Plymouth:

Perhaps Kanu could get a chance against Stockport?

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Up for the Cup

Both Charlton and Stockport County are six points off the play off places, although Stockport probably have the better chance of getting there unless Charlton bring in new players in January.  Here a Stockport fan talks to TalkSport and Charlton fan Natasha Everitt (she forecasts a 3-2 win tomorrow):

The CAS Trust preview on the 'Argentina of the North' is here:

Stockley suspension poses problems

Jayden Stockley has received a three game suspension for violent conduct caught on video at Port Vale:

Ben Garner has no complaints about the ban:

Stockley is not popular with many Charlton fans and has been having a poor season, although it can be debated how much of that is due to the system and poor service (not all of it).

Nevertheless, Miles Leaburn is still working his way back to fitness and Chuks Aneke can only play part of a game, leaving Ben Garner with a selection dilemma.  We need another striker.

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

No more pizza

Charlton are out of the pizza trophy after suffering a 3-2 defeat at Plymouth.  Kanu scored the opening goal on eight minutes.  This was his first goal for the club at senior level.

Sam Cosgrove soon equalised for the Pilgrims and Niall Ennis then grabbed his eighth goal of the season in all competitions in the 15th minute.

Seventeen-year-old midfielder Caleb Roberts put the hosts 3-1 up at the start of the second period with his first senior goal.

Charlton substitute Karoy Anderson pulled a goal back in the second minute of added time 

Richard Cawley commented: 'Pushing at the end to try and take it to penalties. Paid the price for some sloppy defending. In saying that, who really cares about the competition? Good experience for the youngsters.'

There were 101 Charlton supporters there. It should be borne in mind that there are some supporters who live in the West Country.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

As poor as it gets

The consensus among Charlton fans is that the performance at Port Vale was particularly dismal.  We were unable to defend our box for the Vale goal.  On the highlights you can see three defenders retreating in a line and unable to intervene.   We were also unable to penetrate a well-organised but hardly stellar defence.

Louis Mendez sums up all the problems well in his takeaways from the game:

Saturday, 19 November 2022

Garner lays it on the line

Ben Garner has made it clear that he expected things to be different when he took over at The Valley and has not had available the budget he needs to bring success:

There are no indications that Thomas Sandgaard will make significant sums available in the January transfer window.

Addicks fail at Vale

On-loan Blackburn Rovers frontman Danny Butterworth got the only goal of the game in beautiful downtown  Burslem as Port Vale saw off Charlton Athletic.

Butterworth's superb 57th-minute solo effort was enough to lift Darrell Clarke's Vale into 10th in League One, above the Addicks.

Neither side managed a single shot on target in a nondescript first 45 minutes.

But Vale finally broke the deadlock 12 minutes into the second half with Butterworth's third goal since arriving in the August window - all of which have come in Vale's last three home games.

Collecting the ball from David Worrall down the inside-left channel, he arrowed his way on an angled run to the right side of the Addicks box penalty area, holding off two visiting defenders before carefully sliding a measured, low right-foot shot just inside debutant Australian keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer's right post.

Butterworth was then close to a second when his raking left-foot drive from 20 yards just cleared the bar, with Maynard-Brewer beaten.

Late Addicks substitute Jack Payne almost rescued a point for Ben Garner's side with a fierce right-foot shot on the stroke of 90 minutes, only for recalled keeper Jack Stevens to brilliantly tip it over the bar.

But the hosts hung on to send the majority of the 7,604 Vale Park crowd happy with only their seventh win in 19 attempts since being promoted from League Two last summer - and Charlton tumbling three places to 14th in the table.

Ben Garner says that we need to be able to deal with teams which play 'anti-football' which is another way of saying we need to be able to break down teams with average defences which probably won't happen with Stockley wandering lonely as a cloud:

Friday, 18 November 2022

Two match ban for Garner

Ben Garner has been given a two match touchline ban and fined £2,000 for his conduct at the match with Ipswich Town.  The ban will apply to tomorrow's match at Port Vale and next Tuesday's pizza trophy game at Plymouth.  Garner thinks that the judgment was harsh:

He is the first Charlton manager to get a fine and touchline ban since Lee Bowyer was banned for three games and fined £4,000 in 2019.

860 Charlton fans have so far bought tickets for the game in beautiful downtown Burslem tomorrow.  Port Vale are currently 15th in the table and have won three, drawn three and lost three at home.  Charlton have won just one away, but drawn five.   The Addicks are 5th in the form table and the Valiants are 12th.

Ben Garner becomes the first Charlton manager to get a touchline ban and fine since Lee Bowyer was banned for 3 games and fined £4,000 after comments he made to referee Peter Bankes during and in the tunnel after Charlton’s 2-1 defeat to Swanse


Bowyer did not want Gallagher

Lee Bowyer did not want to take World Cup bound Conor Gallagher on loan, but eventually gave way to pressure from Steve Gallen:

No senior keepers at Vale

Craig MacGillivray is an injury doubt for tomorrow's fixture at Port Vale and Ashley Maynard-Brewer is ready to take his place between the sticks:

MacGillivray suffered a bad concussion at Burton leading to memory loss:

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

The future of football fanzines

I commissioned Charlton fan Paul Breen to write for Political Quarterly about football fanzines.  There is some Charlton content and the article is free to view for a fortnight:

Monday, 14 November 2022

Keepers may be recalled

Charlton are thinking of recalling Ashley Maynard-Brewer and Nathan Harness from their loan spells.  Harness has had no minutes at Bromley:

Kirk loving life in London

Charlie Kirk has settled in well on his return to London:

However, he admits Ben Garner had to have stern words with him earlier in the campaign.

Louis Mendez says there is no excuse for what Charlton served up at the back at Burton.  He also discusses what will be a massive time for Craig MacGillivray:

Saturday, 12 November 2022

Keeper's World Cup trip in doubt

Charlton's World Cup is in doubt after Joe Wollacott injured his finger in yesterday's warm up:

He has now had to withdraw.

High scoring draw specialists

After going 2-0 ahead, Charlton ended with a 3-3 draw at the Pirelli Stadium today.  Charlton have slipped back to 11th.

Joe Wollacott injured his finger in the warm up and Craig MacGillivray took his place at Burton Albion.

The start of the game was very scrappy, no real chances for either side.

MacGillivray had to make a good save, tipping the ball over the bar.

Inniss stepped inside his man, made a great run and fed Kirk in the penalty area who scored brilliantly with his left foot on 25 minutes.

MacGillivray dealt with a dangerous ball well, getting a whack on his hip.  He received some precautionary treatment.

Kirk got his second on 36 minutes with a wonderful finish, after a long ball forward reached Stockley, Kirk reacted long before any Burton players did.  

Burton got a free kick after the re-start and Oshilaja scored at the near post, getting ahead of Dobson.

Rak-Sakyi won Charlton a corner which led to a second, Campbell forcing Taylor backwards but it was unproductive.

Sessegnon defended an Oshilaja cross at the expense of a corner which was taken short.

Charlton struggled to clear their lines and Hamer equalised with a volley just before half time.  MacGillivray was blinded by Inniss.

A Dobson shot was deflected for a corner after much sharper and quicker passing. 

Campbell made a great run but lost his footing. 

Curbs said it was a difficult bobbly pitch, very dry.   Steve Brown said it was a laboured first half from us.

HT: Brewers 2, Addicks 2

A shot by Sessegnon went just over the bar after good build up play involving Campbell.

A Sessegnon cross hit the bar and went out of play.

Burton scored a third with MacGillivray having no chance.   It followed a Charlton goal kick.  

A scramble in front of goal followed a throw in, Inniss just managed to clear.

Aneke and Blackett-Taylor came on.   Campbell and Stockley came off.

MacGillivray had to tip a shot from Smith over the bar with Charlton under pressure.   From the corner Charlton were second to the ball again.

Burton won another corner.  Inniss headed away.   Taylor got a yellow card for fouling Rak-Sakyi.

Problems arose after a MacGillivray kick that was not long enough.

Dobson came off and Forster-Caskey came on for his first league appearance.  Kirk came off, he had not been involved much in the second half and was replaced by Payne.

Aneke fed Rak-Sakyi well and he put it over the top of the keeper to make it 3-3.

Rak-Sakyi was involved in a counter attack, but it was stopped by a block.

MacGillivray had to tip a header over.  He was able to gather the corner.

MacGillivray had to tip the ball over again.   The corner was cleared.

Blackett-Taylor threatened, but the ball skied off his boot.

It was end to end as MacGillivray had to make another save.   Fraser came off and was replaced by Morgan.

Rak-Sakyi was fed by Aneke but was not able to make use of it.

Burton won a late corner, but did not convert.

The pundits

Curbs said that on the balance of play we had to be happy with a point.   We did look shaky, especially on set plays.   We rode our luck, we had taken one point off two teams at the bottom of the league.

Steve Brown said they had so many chances second half.  We had to be productive with the possession. It was the poorest he had seen Dobson play.  Our two central midfield players were very deep.   Curbs said that for the opening Burton goal Dobson had time to swap with one of the big boys.

Steve Brown said that in the second half we were losing headers a lot from long throw ins.

For the third goal Steve Brown said that Fraser was nowhere near good enough.

Ben Garner says Charlton are 'running on fumes' at the moment with eight players out because of injuries and suspensions: